Dundee landlord who groped tenant spared jail

A LANDLORD in Dundee sexually assaulted one of his tenants after going to her flat and claiming he was going to measure up for a set of curtains, a court has heard.

Popinder Jassal arrives at Dundee Sheriff Court. Picture: Alan Richardson
Popinder Jassal arrives at Dundee Sheriff Court. Picture: Alan Richardson

Popinder Jassal told the woman it was “love at first sight” when he met her, before trying to kiss her and then groping her.

He then told her he wanted to see her breasts so that he could compare them to those of women in a porn movie he had been watching.

Jassal had faced a potential jail term yesterday but a sheriff instead allowed him to walk free.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard Jassal’s victim had rented a property from him in August last year and that, shortly after, he had visited to resolve small issues with the flat.

He then visited the property repeatedly, claiming he needed to resolve issues or make alterations, and often asked for hugs.

The woman thought that was just part of his character.

But on one occasion, Jassal asked if she would come to his house for drinks, mentioning something about love at first sight.

She declined, telling him she wanted nothing more than a landlord-tenant relationship with him, and told a friend that the incident had made her feel “uncomfortable”.

Procurator fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told the court that Jassal went to the property on 28 June last year, claiming to need to measure a window for curtains, and the woman let him inside.

On entering the property, Jassal asked for a hug then went into one of the bedrooms and measured the window before chatting with his tenant.

Miss Gillespie said: “He went on to say he had recently been to Egypt and got a perfume which should only be worn intimately and said she should try it.

“He again asked for a hug which she did so, hoping he would leave after it.

“He put his hands on her waist and she noticed the hug was lasting longer than would normally be expected.

“She pulled back but he kept his hands on her waist and attempted to kiss her on the mouth.”

The court heard Jassal blocked her in a corner of the room and tried to pull away her clothing and touch her breasts.

Miss Gillespie said: “She told him in no uncertain terms to leave.”

The court heard that, instead of leaving, Jassal went to the kitchen and took a drink before coming back into the room and attempting to put his arm around her while asking to see her breasts.

She again asked him to leave, which he did, and she contacted the police and the letting agency.

Jassal, 60, of Dundee, admitted sexually assaulting the woman between 3 August 2012 and 28 June 2013.

Ross Bennett, defending, said Jassal had now been deemed “not a fit and proper person” to be a landlord by Dundee City Council after his attack.

He said: “He behaved reprehensibly – he says he would have hated for something like this to happen to one of his daughters.

“His wife has taken this extremely seriously, as has the Indian Sikh community where this kind of behaviour is extremely taboo. This could attract a custodial sentence but I wonder in the long term what that would do to him and if it would be in the public interest.”

Sheriff Kenneth McGowan placed Jassal on the sex offenders’ register for 18 months, and imposed an 18-month community payback order with supervision and a condition that he attend a sex offenders’ programme.”